Iowa distilleries are thriving under new state law

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

DES MOINES — To honor the anniversary of the first Iowa-made bourbon, Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery each July hosts a festival on its grounds in Swisher.

Thanks to a new state law that allows craft distilleries to sell its product on-site, the most recent festival was a massive success: Cedar Ridge sold nearly 2,400 cocktails over the three-day weekend, a company executive said.

“In the past we’ve always just done bourbon samples, but this year we still did that and we were also able to sell bourbon cocktails,” said Jamie Siefken, general manager of Cedar Ridge in Iowa’s Cedar Valley. “It was just crazy. It was wall-to-wall.”

Similar success stories are being told across the state almost eight months after the effective start of the new law, for which small distilleries had spent years advocating.

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